We are all defined by moments and events in our life who change who and what we are. To car people, decades are defined by cars and MINI takes the 60s with all four wheels heading to your heart, the movie screen, racing tracks, fashion, music and your driveway.
To celebrate this Icon was the only way possible to bring owners all across together for events and hear their stories for a year-long celebration. MINI UK & their marketing agency approached me to share my story early in 2019 after knowing about my website. It was an honour to share why MINI has key place in my heart, life and how it changed my life all those years ago in 2011.
My MINI adventures started in 2008 when my dad brought me my first car my beloved R56 MINI One to which to this day I miss dearly. That little four-wheel wonder taught me how to drive as I had to squeeze everything out of 1.4-litre engine producing 89 BHP with keeping the momentum and speed through and out of corners. This chapter closed with a bittersweet moment as I had to let her go for the right reasons to move forward with my life. That closed chapter allowed me to move forward but 2011 brought a lot of bad to which I didn’t fully understand or wish upon on anyone else and the only thing that got me through that period is my beloved JCW.
From those ashes, JCW Adventures was born and Surrey New MINI became my 2nd family with my first of many MINI Adventures across the globe. My JCW has taken beyond my dreams and reality with all the doors it opened as both an individual and making me who I am.
The concept of MINI’s 60th-anniversary celebrations was to showcase 60 years of continuous of the brand and stories that go with it from 1959 to 2019.
Me & Rob got the ball rolling with his stories and how his life changed in 2017 and how his MINI & I saved his outlook on life and kept him going from the unfortunate life-changing accident.
This video only shows part of the bond Rob and me as the road isn’t always smooth, but we will always have each other back as JCW blood brothers.
From there was both of us submitting our stories for the Instagram posts to be shared to other fans and owners across the world and on the MINI official website.
The next part of the celebrations is the movie that spread the word of the Mini worldwide with a special screening of The Italian Job in MINI plant Oxford which has seen 105 years of continued car manufacturing.
The final part of the celebrations wouldn’t just be our moments but the whole MINI community spanning 60 years. MINI selected 60 cars to mark each year of MINI production spanning from 1959 to 2019 models.
My JCW would represent 2011 and Rob’s JCW would mark 2013 with only two years apart of one another they both the mark the factory introduction of the Factory John Cooper Works built to owners specifications from Plant Oxford.
Fun fact – R56 MINI FJCW were always made in batches as the engines were different from the Cooper S significantly which warrantied a longer manufacturing time. This schedule didn’t align with the just in time production line method resulting in the batch making and it wasn’t every day an FJCW was ordered either.
This was another event at the home of MINI at Plant Oxford with all 60 owners and Minis converging on the grounds to which they were all born. Rob & I convoyed down together as we usually do to the MINI factory with them both being detailed on the same day to mark this landmark occasion. The only difference is mine loves to drink oil while rob’s loves to drink fuel.
Arriving at Plant Oxford we were greeted by the MINI PR team as we signed in and were waved past into the factory plant past the barriers. Queueing up with other minis of different ages we waited our turn before we called to line up our cars in formation. They were all being lined up for a photo shoot to honour this little city car that is no beloved all around the world and puts a smile on people faces and brought people together from every walk of life.
We were all lined up with pinpoint accuracy and left my car on the grass infield on the grounds of the MINI factory. Leaving our cars behind we took my luggage to the coach which take us to back the visitor centre & MINI Factory Store for our assigned exclusive factory tour.
Back off the coach, we headed into the visitors’ centre to sign in and leave our bags till later. This gave us time to see and meet the others who had been chosen and some of which were familiar faces like Abbie & Ian from my club Surrey New MINI, Harry who I met a Black Panthaa car meet following the release of Forza Horizon 4 for the Xbox.
Sadly as with any car factory tours, no cameras are allowed and there was no sneak peek of the electric MINI Cooper SE or MINI GP 3. However, the only plus that we did see the new 306bhp clubman in full production and fun fact pepper white is most popular MINIs are now painted with which is a contrast from 2nd Gen MINIs days when Chilli Red was to go to paint.
Tour completed we got back on the coach and retire back to our hotel courtesy of MINI UK with the luggage and given a goody bag full of some MINI swag.
The 60th Anniversary Goody Bag included some stickers, 60th edition water bottle, limited-edition classic mini t-shirt and free tickets to IMM 2019.
From there it was a change of plan as it was going to rain so the photoshoot would happen tonight instead of tomorrow due to the rain overnight. So it was back on the bus for the Big photoshoot which us feel like school kids as we waited for the bus to fill up gaining and heads were counted.
Back to our beloved MINIs, we briefed on the shots on how the Queen of the lens Amy Shore wanted us positioned for the photos. Here are the shots:
The British Racing Green IV Cooper S is a 60th Edition MINI Cooper S which is the 10th Millionth MINI every made sitting with first-ever Mini every made upfront in the picture.
History made I took a moment to think while looking at my JCW and where this open road has taken me after 8 years of ownership. This little car has changed my life as I know with the places I have been and people I have met along the way. I glad I made a decision back on 12th March I walked into my local MINI dealership and ordered my JCW to my spec. I say with great pride she was made for me and we both share the same star sign as it Chassis was given its stamp on May 2011 making her a Tauras as well.
The dream was turned into a reality within a few months and I took delivery on the 1st June 2011 to what is the last of the N14 engined JCW but an R56 facelift (LCI) model. The N14 gets a lot of flack but mine is still going strong after 125,000 miles plus and it boils down to maintenance and preventative measures. I will dive into a later blog on how to look maintain a 2nd Gen MINI and what to look out for when you want to buy one.
The photoshoot was done we headed back to the coaches to retire for dinner at the hotel which was courtesy of MINI UK hospitality. It was nice to sit down and have dinner with my club again as it had been a while and talk about our tenth-anniversary celebrations which include a trip to the Nurburgring and autobahn.
I did get a chance to sit down with the now infamous owner of Ruby Roadster aka Petrol Ped. There may be something at a later date will do together as a collaboration as I decided to give Youtube side of the blog to grow then retired for the night.
Breakfast the next day was courtesy of MINI UK we headed back to the visitor centre on the coaches again. This time it was to grab lunch and for the MINI UK team to talk to us about how far the brand has come from its history and BMW being under the helm. Rob and I were asked to be filmed post his video shoot so it was nice catching up with the team we met a few months back now.
With everything wrapped up, we head back to our sweet chariots to load up and head out to the International MINI Meet (IMM 2019) in Bristol but first, there were a few more pictures then some video shooting as we all left.
From there me and Rob convoyed down to IMM but it wasn’t the best of weather as it was down on and off heavy downpours all along the way. The main reason why I was heading down was to meet friends who had come down from the US who I met on my previous adventures for MINI TAKES THE STATES back in 2014. However, another plus was the free t-shirt one-off made by MINI events team and swag I got in the goody bags did make it worthwhile.
If I am honest IMM wasn’t a good experience at all and disorganised which left a bad taste in my mouth personally. It’s gonna be one of those events I can say I did but I won’t be doing it anytime soon in hurry…
I guess this celebration sums up MINI ownership in a dime as it’s a mix of highs, lows and oh I love this thing as it puts a smile on my face & taken places I would never have thought of.
I appreciate the invite, opportunity and hospitality MINI UK has given me and making mine and rob’s JCW forever written in the history books.
Thank you dear icon for changing the world as I know it and for the millions out there with a MINI story and their own parked on their driveways. So here’s to the next milestone of 70 years in 2029 and always it’s a MINI Adventure try to keep up!!!
p.s. MINI if your reading this bring back MINI UNITED…
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